(2) Acidosis (from decreased profusion secondary to shock and
Coagulopathy (hypothermic patients lose their ability to clot).
c. When these three elements are present, the casualty's blood will not clot.
Most of these casualties need surgery to repair their wounds. However, if their blood
will not clot, they must undergo a transfusion to augment their blood with fresh blood,
clotting factors, or platelets. This can delay the life-saving surgery they need.
d. Prevention is the best method.
(1) In cold environments, ensure IV fluids are warmed prior to
administration. The use of MRE heaters on either side of an IV bag or a blood box with
a hole cut in it and a light bulb to provide heat will help warm IV fluids (figure 1-4).
Figure 1-4. Field expedient warming.
(2) Prior to evacuation, casualties must be wrapped in a blanket to prevent
heat loss during transport (even if the temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit).
(3) Protect the casualty by wrapping them in a protective wrap (Blizzard
Rescue Wrap) as shown in figure 1-5.
Figure 1-5 shows the Blizzard Wrap which contains a cellular technology that
traps air in these cells and allows the body heat to warm them. It also shows
another new technology, a blanket that warms itself when exposed to air.
The Ready Heat Blanket warms to between 110 and 118 degrees
Fahrenheit and, in conjunction with the Blizzard Wrap, provides excellent
protection from hypothermia. Figure 1-6 shows a new product developed by
North American Rescue Products that contains a Blizzard Wrap, Ready Heat
Blanket and a reflective cap to prevent heat loss during transport.